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Q: Math prime numbers ( Answered ,   0 Comments )
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 Subject: Math prime numbers Category: Science > Math Asked by: gezwez-ga List Price: \$5.00 Posted: 21 Feb 2003 19:09 PST Expires: 23 Mar 2003 19:09 PST Question ID: 165458
 ```when will you use a prime number and what is the differance between a Mersenne prime and a prime number please make the answer simple. Thanks HHall```
 ```Hi, Since you wanted a simple answer, I will include a summary for you. If you want further in-depth info, you can visit the web sites I compiled for you below. Summary: An integer greater than one is called a "prime number" if its only positive divisors are itself and one. The real importance of prime numbers was understood with the discovery of the data encryption methods used today. These encryption methods (for example, used to encrypt secure Internet traffic, credit card info, etc.) stands on the fact that any integer greater than one can be written as a product of prime numbers. A Mersenne Prime is a special case of a prime number. By definition, if a prime number can be written as 2 ^ n - 1 [Note: 2^n notation means 2 to the power of n] then it is said to be a "Mersenne Prime". The theorem that immediately follows is that n is a prime number, too (proof below). After this quick summary, you may want to visit web sites that deal with the topic in more depth. You can find definition and importance of prime numbers in the following pages (I included an abstract for each site for convenience, but I advise you to go to the sites for comprehensive explanations): Sweepstakes: give the old lady a new look http://www.carpiohelpdesk.com/CRM%20Articles/Sweepstakes_%20give%20the%20old%20lady/body_sweepstakes_%20give%20the%20old%20lady.htm Prime numbers play an extremely important role in mathematics and are used in numerous calculations (most known are factoring, greatest common divisor, linear equation solving, etc.). But perhaps the most important quality of prime numbers is the simplest one: any number greater than one may be written as a product of prime numbers. But their real importance for the computer world became evident around 1977, when R.L. Rivest, A. Shamir, and L. Adleman discovered a way to encode messages in such a way that the code would be almost impossible to break even if the method of encoding was public, i.e. known to everybody. The Prime Pages http://www.utm.edu/research/primes/ An integer greater than one is prime if its only positive divisors are itself and one. Prime Number - from Mathworld http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PrimeNumber.html Because of their importance in encryption algorithms such as RSA encryption, prime numbers can be important commercial commodities. Why study Prime and Composite Numbers? http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57182.html Every time you send a credit card number over the Internet, it gets encrypted by your browser, and the encryption algorithm is based on the theory of prime numbers. The Mersenne Prime information can be found at the following web sites: Mersenne Primes: History, Theorems and Lists http://www.utm.edu/research/primes/mersenne/index.html Definition: When 2^n-1 is prime it is said to be a Mersenne prime. [Note: 2^n notation means 2 to the power of n] Proof of the theorem: "If 2^n-1 is prime, then so is n" http://www.utm.edu/research/primes/notes/proofs/Theorem2.html My search stategy to find the web sites: "importance of prime numbers" encryption "prime number" "mersenne prime" Hope this helps Regards Bio Google Answers Researcher```
 gezwez-ga rated this answer: ```thank you very much for the info and being so fast HHall```